What is the plot summary of The Secret Government: Constitution in Crisis?

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The Secret Government: Constitution in Crisis is a 90 minute PBS documentary by Bill Moyers. It was first aired in 1987. 

The documentary provides an overview of the fallout of the National Security Act of 1947 and how a number of secret organizations within the government are operating without any accountability. The views have been supported by interviews with top people from the military, political and intelligence communities. 

What started in 1947 as a law to protect national security soon caused the formation of all-powerful agencies, the national security council and the CIA. These agencies hired people with dubious backgrounds (including Nazis) and employed them, without any constitutional bounds, to carry out covert operations, assassinations of foreign leaders, the overthrow of democratic governments, small conflicts to large-scale wars and also suspected activities within the US. Some instances are the removal of Mohammad Mosaddeq, Prime Minister of Iran, 1953; Jacobo Arbenz, elected President of Guatemala, 1954; assaults on Castro through the 60s; Vietnam, etc. Alarmingly, American presidents have used these agencies or the National Security Decision Directorate to carry out heinous acts without any jurisdictional or constitutional boundary. The accumulation of so much power in the Executive branch and continued presence of such secret agencies (intent on finding and fighting wars) is a serious threat to the constitution and to American democracy.

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